Monday, September 30, 2013


September came and went quickly!  I have not had much time to keep up with our blog this month so I just want to highlight how we have spent September ...

Our missions administrator, Gordon, is also very active in the Gideon Ministry.  On Tuesday, September 3rd the kids and I, along with Member, were able to join him on a Bible Placement to a few of the schools in some of the surrounding villages.  We had a great time.

 We visited four different schools today in villages about 30 minutes from Polokwane. They hand the Bibles out to the 8th grade students. This was the first school we stopped at. This class had 55 students in it. (I am sure the classroom was not any bigger than our lounge!)

The second school had 47 kids in that classroom. We would pass out the Bibles and Gordon would explain how important the Bible is and encouraged them to read it. Then we would pray for the class. We only had five to ten minutes with each class.

This next school was much smaller and had 8th and 9th grade combined. Gordon asked if the 9th grade got a Bible last year and they said yes. One boy pulled his out of his bag to show us.

This was the last school we went to today. It was one of the larger ones. There were two 8th grade classes. One had 37 students and the other had 40. What a blessing to be able to go today. Looking forward to another opportunity to go and help Gordon pass out Bibles. Most importantly I pray that The Lord would do a mighty work in the lives of these kids. I pray that He would give those who started to read it today understanding.

Saturday, September 7th we started our Family Fellowship nights again with our friends, The Isiaho's.  It is a great time of fellowship and time in the Word together as families.  We continue to work very slowly through The Fundamentals of Faith book. 

September 10th brought the first day of school for Luke ... 7th grade.  We are still waiting on his curriculum to arrive (long story which we will explain later) and we are thankful the Lord has provided a way to start so we won't be behind. 

 September was also the month Brit would focus on getting her South African Drivers License.  You must be 18 to get your license and since she turned 18 in April she wanted to have a little more time to practice driving and to get comfortable driving around town.  Then our outreach season began so that pushed her into September.  We were all ready for her get her license.  On Monday, September 9th Mark and Brit went to Mokopane (a town about 45 minutes from here) with William and Timothy (who just turned 18) to book for their test.  It was a much faster turn around in Mokopane than it was here in Polokwane.  It worked out great and they were both scheduled to take their tests on that Friday.   

The Vaughan's let Brit use one of their cars to practice and test in.  It is much easier to do the test in a small car and our Golf is not in a condition to be used for the test.  They both went to driving lessons 3 different times and then would practice on their own as well.  We are happy to report that they both passed their test the first time!  (Which is not very common to do here!)  Here are some pictures for the grandparents ...

she had to parallel park from both directions

 In South Africa if you test in an automatic car then you are only licensed for an automatic but if you test in a standard then you can drive both.  This hill below is a major problem for most people on the test.  You have to stop on the hill and then go when they tell you with out rolling back at all.  A small roll backwards is an automatic failure on the test! 

the hill
 Friday morning, September 13th, Mark and Brit headed to Mokopane.  I love that technology allowed Mark to keep me posted while I was at home teaching Luke.  I must say I was a nervous wreck waiting to hear how she did with each step.

looking a little nervous

there she goes
pre-trip inspection (there is a whole list of things she had to do)

about to parallel park (she had to do from both directions)

about to Alley Dock (she had to do from both directions)

the hill

she made it out of the yard onto the street test!!!!
that is one happy girl!
her first outing on her own!

The weekend of September 13th - 15th, we headed to Schoemansdal for the Annual CBC Family Camp.  This was our 5th camp to attend since we moved here in 2009.  We had a great time of fellowship and time in the Word.   The focus for the teaching was from Ephesians 6:  10-20 ... The Armour of God.  

These photos of Family Camp weekend were taken by Charles Stander.  He is a great photographer.  

I took this photo of Mark helping Ian get the braai ready

After Family Camp we were really busy getting ready for Mark and the guys to leave on a 19 day trip to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  They left at 3 am Thursday morning, September 19th.  We will update about the trip when they get back in October.  The main reason they have to leave so early when heading to Zimbabwe is that the border crossing can take LONG especially if you get there after 8 am.  They spent the first week in Zimbabwe and now they are in Mozambique.  We are missing Mark but we are thankful we have been able to communicate with him some. 

last minute packing before bed

making breakfast burritos at 2 am!

and he is off ...
 Each month CBC prays for a different country in the 10/40 window and then the cell groups take turns hosting a meal from that country and highlighting the country through a video.  This month Sunday, September 22nd our cell group hosted the dinner and we focused on the country of Armenia.  It was a great evening!

Our menu was ... 
Scrumptious Armenian Farmer's Casserole with traditional flat bread followed by sugar cookies and coffee
You can pray for Armenia too!  Since Armenia is an island of Christianity in a sea of Islam, pray for Armenia to be a light among its Muslim neighbors and to establish relationships of trust and cooperation with them.  

 More random happenings from September ...
the guys helped Sean with his fence project

Mark got to unclog our sewage - Again
 (happens often when you are the first house next to the man hole)

Mark and Brit had car trouble with the Golf and William came to help.  The water flange broke (again) and we had to tow it to the farm to fix it.  


 We drove to the gym one morning and when we came out to leave the bakkie wouldn't start.  We waited a few minutes for Sean and Gena (who were also at the gym) to come out.  Sean and Mark looked at it and decided we would push it and try to pop the clutch to start the bakkie.  It would not work.  So they hooked us up so the Land Rover could tow us and Mark tried to pop the clutch again and it finally started.  Sean was thinking maybe it was the starter.  Later that day, William dropped by and looked at it and agreed that it might be the starter.  So Mark made a plan and we took it to the shop.  Sure enough it was the starter.  We were thankful it happened the week before they went on their Zimbabwe and Mozambique trip!  

I had to tow it a bit so Mark could pop the clutch to start it. 

a day later we had a rebuilt starter and were back on the road!
 Mark left and in one week I had 3 different issues with the Golf!  This car is 20 years old and I guess it might be time we need to consider buying something MUCH more reliable for our second vehicle.  With Brit now driving and Mark taking the bakkie to Mozambique and Zimbabwe it is important that we have a car we can rely on.  Three out of the four days I ran errands I had ISSUES with it.  I am thankful that Nathan was available to help since Mark was gone.  

The day after Mark left I needed to go to a store.  I am driving down the road smelling fuel thinking it is the car in front of me.  (So bad that I even felt a little light headed).  Well that car turned and the smell didn't improve then all of sudden I lost all power.  I managed to change lanes and coast up onto the side of the road.  I called Nathan, who was at the church, and he and Brit quickly came to fix the problem.  

 A few days later I needed to go run errands and the car began to overheat. I was next to a garage and pulled in there.  The attendant helped me to cool the car down and fill the water back up again.  I managed to get to another shop and noticed the temperature rising again.  It was closer for me to stop by the mall then go home so that is where I went.   I let the car cool down and then added over 2 liters of water and made it home.  Nathan came by that evening and discovered the water flange was cracked (remember at the beginning of the month Mark and William replaced it) So, for the third time since April we put a new water flange one.  Thankfully Mark bought a spare earlier in September - guess I need to go replace the spare as this seems to be becoming a common problem. 

The next day I needed to finish my errands ... everything was working fine.  Then, all of the sudden the temperature gauge rises from normal to well over half in seconds.  I manage to get to the garage that was up the street and call Nathan.  The water tank was boiling over.  We let it cool down and replaced the water.  Nathan found a way to bypass something and keep the fan running and he drove it home.  He then went to buy a new water bottle as he said this one cracked.  So, it has been three days now and all seems fine with the car.  For now! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Euto Outreach in Dinga

  Village:  Dinga, South Africa (right outside of Malamulele) 
Date: July 27th - August 9th
Team:  Euto Baptist Church
Church:  Dinga Baptist Church
Pastor:  Nehemiah Chauke (student at Christ Seminary & serves as a translator with Samaria Mission)

Our last team this season was from Euto Baptist Church in North Carolina .  They are Darren's sending church and his sister-in-law, was able to come on outreach as well.  We also had a young lady join us from Germany as well.  This was a small team and we really enjoyed getting to know each of them. 

    This team was involved in:
- house to house visitations,
- men's, women's and children's ministry
- evening services

They were also involved in a few practical ministries as well:
-repainting the church sign
-replacing the old, broken fence

Mark and Darren took the PaulAnn team to the airport and picked up the Euto team the next day.  The kids and I helped move and set up camp in Dinga for the team to arrive on Sunday afternoon. 

Luke busy clearing out a burn hole - he had an audience.

morning devos

The team praying before going out on house to house visitation.

The different Bible studies took place each afternoon.  The first day the children stayed in the church but then it was decided for the rest of the time they would go to the soccer field down the road.  There were so MANY children in this village. 

children's ministry
Luke helping with children's ministry


youth ministry
youth ministry
We were very happy to see how many men, young and old, that faithfully attended Bible study each afternoon. 

men's ministry
 I was asked to teach the women's study the first day and do a review.  Since this was the first time to do ministry in this village I focused on the introduction to the Bible.  What it is, who wrote it, how many testaments and books, and WHY and HOW we should study the Bible.  Then the ladies on the team focused on the the first 10 lessons in the New Tribes Building Firm Foundations curriculum.  

women's ministry

Renee giving her testimony during the evening service.

Mark preaching during one of the evening services.
evening service
This team was also given the opportunity to go to the school each morning to present a five to 8 minute devotion with the students and staff.  This became a highlight for the team members.  They focused on the Ten Commandments for the first few days and then ended with the Roman Road. 


 The guys worked hard all week driving new fence posts and running wire.  They were able to complete the fence before we left. 

Kenneth and Mark working together
Pastor Aaron and Seth
Brad and Mark
running the wire
Luke and Noah even helped!
Brit and Derrick
Seth and Julie working on the church sign

hanging the sign a few hours before we left
 Darren invited his Bible study at Christ Baptist Church to join us on Saturday for house to house visitation and lunch.  Pastor Charlie and few people from their Bible Study arrived in time for a quick cup of tea and coffee and then headed out on visitation with the Euto team.  After lunch everyone sat around and visited.  When I went to wash my dish I noticed that everyone was enjoying the fellowship.

fellowship after lunch on Saturday
 On Sunday the team we were able to send someone to preach at four different churches.  Member went to the Refugee camp, Brad went to Xigalo, Darren stayed at Dinga and Mark went to Mchipsi.  I loved being able to go to Mchipsi that morning.  Renee, Darren's sister in law went with us too.  Mark preached a message from Philippians.  
After the service we were able to visit with Emma, Mama Rose and Gladys.  It was great to spend time with them. 

 Sunday evening was a highlight for me for sure!  We invited Derrick and Kenneth's families to join us for the braai as well as Mama Rose and Gladys.  They all arrived a few hours before dinner and just enjoyed fellowship.  It was just a special evening to have everyone together. 

Mark and Brad setting up the Jesus film Sunday evening

Luke and Noah playing with the kids

dinner was almost ready
Loved spending time with Gladys
Brit and Lauren practicing for morning devotions
  The kitchen tent was set up at the back of the church property next to the fence.  Their was a house on the other side of the fence and the first weekend we were there setting up for the team we go to listen to the drunk neighbor for hours into the night.  Well, as the week went on I noticed an older lady lived there.  I would watch her walk to the bathroom - which by the way took her a good ten minutes to slowly walk and limp to the outhouse.   I kept thinking she really has to plan carefully to get there in time!  I began to duck under the fence each day and take her some leftovers.  Each time I went I could only communicate with her using the little bit of Shangan I know and pointing.  Her name is Annah and she is 83 year old.  I would see her in the afternoons sitting outside in the afternoon sun and wonder what is she thinking, does she know the Lord, is she sad, happy .... on and on.  I also watched each day as the teams went out that none of them went to her house.  I begin to feel that I was supposed to go and talk to her - with a translator and share the Gospel.  So on the last full day in camp I told Mark to pray for me and I asked Derrick to go with me.  We went over and she greeted me with her smile like she did everyday I took food to her.  We talked, thanks to Derrick we got passed hello, how are you and what is your name!  She shared a little about her life and I shared about mine.  I found out that she is Annah's (who translates for us) sister in law.  I told her that I didn't want to leave tomorrow without taking the time to do what we are called to do.  I asked her if she went to kereke (church) and she quickly dug in her layers of shirts and pulled out her ZCC badge.  I began to go through the Gospel and share with her who Jesus is and what He did for her!   Later I asked her what she is thinking about in the afternoon when she sits and enjoys the sun.  She didn't say anything specific.  She did tell us that before we arrived to set up camp she was sitting there and watching the church yard.  She said that she was not sleeping but she saw people walking all around and talking and she didn't understand them.  She said they were foreigners.  She didn't know why she was seeing that.  Then she said and now you are here.  I don't know if Annah had a true understanding that day but I know that the Lord asked me to go share with her and I did.  I just pray that the Lord will continue to speak to her and draw her to Himself.  I did ask Annah to please go to her house and read the Bible to her.  It was a sweet visit and one I will remember for a long time!

Alicia and Annah
 Monday was raining off and on most of the morning and the team was not able to go on visitation.  So we loaded up on the bus and headed into Malamulele (about 15 minutes away).  This gave the team a chance to experience town for about an hour!


I want to share a few testimonies from some of the team members ... 

"I have had an awesome time in Dinga SA. Many home visits and the challenge of spreading the Gospel has given me insight into what our missionaries are faced with on a daily basis. How refreshing it was to go to a home and hear the testimony of a woman who has known the Lord since childhood, married someone who knew the Lord and has raised her children in a Christian home. She has explained salvation to her children and made them aware that they are not saved because they go to church but each one will have to make their own decision. The women’s ministry  was a blessing and we were able to share creation and why God is the one who has the right to direct our lives. He has a plan for each one of his children no matter where they live in the world."-Gloria

"Dinga Baptist Church will continue to grow!  What an amazing week to minister to so many women in this community. On one particular afternoon I was asked to visit with an elderly woman who had recently lost her youngest daughter.  Now this woman was faced with raising the grandchildren and also dealing with severe depression. I too have lost a child so we were able to relate.   We were able to share God’s Word of Salvation and Hope.  She later came to church one night and seemed to being doing a bit better.  Amazing how all the way across the world – women are the same.  We all need Christ.  We all need hope.  We all have emotions." -Renee    

"This was my first outreach mission trip; it was also my first time sharing my testimony.  I signed up to give mine late in the week so I could see how everyone else was giving theirs.  After the first of my team shared theirs, I was still left with the feeling that I didn’t have much of a testimony and very nervous that I wouldn’t be able to talk once I was called to the front.  One night while helping Alicia cut salad, I said….so, I’ve never shared my testimony and I’m unsure what to say.  Mark pulled up his chair and he and Alicia asked me “so how did you come to know Jesus?”  They made me feel so comfortable that the words came without much coaxing and Alicia said “Just tell them exactly what you just told us.”   Standing there in the church waiting to go up front, I felt a little tap; Alicia wanting to pray with me.  I know it was God talking through her….it gave me the last push of courage I needed."-  Julie 

                "I am just so thankful for everything that I have experienced here in Dinga. I’ve been on only one other outreach before, so I was very blessed to be able to return to Africa. No matter how much I have wanted to return home to my family, it’s bittersweet. As much as I want to be home, I never want to leave. I am grateful that I was able to see God work directly in peoples’ lives as I have here. This is just another example of God showing us that it is better to give than receive. I was blessed in that I was able to learn that through personal experience." -Lauren

one of my favorite pictures of Luke and Noah